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I only want you to be healthy!

November 10, 2011

Trigger warning for discussion of doctor’s recommendation of weight loss.

Concern trolls suck.  It’s even worse when the concern troll happens to be your doctor.

It’s been about a year since my last doctor’s appointment, so it’s time to go back and make sure everything is still working like it’s supposed to work. I really like this doctor. He’s intelligent, yet doesn’t talk down to me. He listens to my concerns. He doesn’t tell me that my reactions to a certain hormone are impossible to have.

In all ways, save one, he’s a great doctor. It’s the one that’s a sticking point with me.

You guessed it. He wants me to lose weight.

No, he didn’t put me on a diet the last time I saw him. I did tell him I wouldn’t go on a “weight loss diet,” so that may be why he didn’t even try to give me one. However, he did have me go see his dietitian. I wasn’t too thrilled with the idea because I eat well. Okay, when I remember to eat, I eat well. Through the course of years, and trial and error, I’ve found what works for me and what doesn’t.

I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and migraines. For both of these conditions, I’ve found that limiting my refined carbohydrate intake helps keep me healthier. I’m not sure why eating over a certain amount causes migraines, but it does. Over a certain amount of refined carbs for a long period of time also seems to bring about a major increase in cystic activity in me.

So, I don’t indulge.

Of course, the doctor didn’t exactly believe me when I told him this, which is why he set me up to see his dietitian. And he used the words from the title above to guilt me into going. “Are you sure you are eating in the healthiest manner for you? I’m sure if you see the dietitian, she can help you eat better and lose weight!”

I looked at him and told him that I didn’t care if I ever lost weight, but on the off chance that the dietitian could give me another piece to the puzzle of keeping migraines and cysts at bay, I’d go see her.

The visit went better than I expected, all in all. She didn’t quite believe me when I said that I didn’t eat a lot of sugar or other refined carbs. She went over how I should eat low carb bread (I don’t eat bread very often either, and when I do, it’s bread I’ve made myself), how I should not eat most of the yogurt that’s on the market. At first she didn’t believe me when I said I make my own without sweetener. But when I told her exactly how I do it, she had to concede I knew what I was talking about.

She also didn’t push artificial sweeteners and told me to stay away from soy products.

At the end of the appointment, she told me to start exercising, but it seemed that I had the food part under control. Yes, that was an assumption on her part, as she never asked me if I exercise (I do) or what kind (karate) or how often I do it (two hours at the dojo and daily practice). I was a bit miffed, but I got over it.

However, I need to make a new appointment, and I find I don’t want to. For all that I love this doctor, I hate the “I’m only trying to get you to lose weight because of your health!” attitude he has. My numbers were within the correct range for all of the tests they ran (including insulin… I have no history of diabetes in my family, but since I have PCOS, may be at a higher risk for). How will losing weight make me any healthier?

That’s the major question I have for all of the doctors who want me to lose weight because of my “health.” If, as fat as I am, all my tests are in the normal ranges, how is losing weight (if I could, that is) going to make me any healthier?

Anybody?  Bueller?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2011 11:02 am

    See, this is such bullshit, and the reason why fatties avoid routine medical care: doctors (and dietitians, apparently) simply assume all fatties are non-compliant, and plenty of research indicates this is absolutely the case in the medical community. How can a doctor provide quality care if they don’t trust their patients to relate their lifestyle information accurately?

    By the way, I make my own yogurt too… just leave a glass of milk on the counter for a few days and viola! yogurt!


    • bronwenofhindscroft permalink
      November 10, 2011 12:25 pm

      Shannon, I did that with milk once (accidentally). However, I wasn’t about to trust the results enough to eat it! My yogurt is made in an extremely controlled environment. Hey, I don’t mind eating bacteria, I just have to know it’s “healthy” bacteria! 😉

      I think it’s a pretty sad state of affairs when I actually think this guy is a “good” doctor for me. I mean, he listens to everything else I have to say, doesn’t discount any of my other self-reported information. And he’s not diagnosing “fat” for everything that’s wrong with me.

      It’s just this one issue. And well, he’s so much better than all the others.

  2. Fab@54 permalink
    November 10, 2011 12:11 pm

    Yeah, it’s pretty sad isn’t it – when you just can’t be “healthy enough” for your own doctor, ONLY because you’re fat. Doesn’t matter that all your blood levels are normal, that you don’t have any current, fat-aggravated diseases, don’t eat like a crazed carbo-maniac or refined-sugar monster, and there really isn’t anything else “wrong”, just that damn FAT.

    PS; You’re kidding about the yogurt, right Shannon?? LOL

    • bronwenofhindscroft permalink
      November 10, 2011 12:21 pm

      I have a friend who has a chronic illness, one that can kill him at any time.

      His doctor had convinced him, at one time, that if he just lost weight and exercised more, it would control his chronic illness. So, he did. He made it down to a “normal” BMI, was exercising at a gym daily before going to work (and this friend works 2 jobs, one is a profession he went to college for, the other is the family pizza business he now owns, so it’s not like he was ever sedentary).

      And after all that, after being in the best physical shape he’d ever been in his life, he had such a bad outbreak of his disease that it put him in the hospital for 3 weeks, and almost killed him.

      At that point, he stopped caring about his weight (not about his health, mind you, but about his weight). Last time he was at his doctor, the man started harping on his weight again. My friend came right out and asked what losing weight would do, when he’d been at his best weight since college and best physical health in almost as long, and yet still almost died from his condition.

      The doctor flat out told him that there was only one variable they could control for this condition, and that was weight. So, by god, he was GOING to lose the weight and control that variable.

      Yeah. “We can’t do anything else for you to stop this from happening except tell you to lose weight!” What a treatment plan, huh?

  3. November 10, 2011 12:25 pm

    My doctor started to go on about my weight at my last appointment. But all of my tests were normal. I just told her that not everybody was meant to be thin and left it at that.

  4. Fab@54 permalink
    November 10, 2011 12:32 pm

    Hey Bronwen, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts somewhere on your medical chart you have “Obesity” noted and/or listed among any other treatments or diagnosis made along the way; even though you’ve never been actually treated for it, complained about it (as a symptom or illness), requested diets, weight loss programs, or a dietician’s advice.

    There should be some sort of regulation that stops dr.s from making OBSERVATIONAL diagnoses regarding weight. Until weight becomes an actual health issue, one that the doctor is actually TREATING you for, it should not be included as any sort of label or diagnoses *anywhere* in your records nor on scripts, etc! I plan on taking this up with my doctor next time I see her…. because I found out this has been noted in MY medical file as well.

  5. JustSomeLady permalink
    November 10, 2011 2:10 pm

    I’ve been with my doctor for years and have the same issue. Things culminated last year when I went to him complaining of symptoms of an unexplained seasonal depression and he sent me to a behavioral psychologist for obesity and overeating, none of which I mentioned in my appointment. I was furious but went to the psych anyway thinking maybe I should keep an open mind and just go through with it. Turns out I was low in vitamin D, overworked and not eating often enough through the day but the appointments were still always leading toward weight loss. I fear for my life that one day I’ll be in a horrible accident and the ambulance will rush me to Jenny Craig.

  6. November 10, 2011 4:15 pm

    “I fear for my life that one day I’ll be in a horrible accident and the ambulance will rush me to Jenny Craig.”

    That is, all at once, the funniest, saddest, and scariest (because it could happen, right?) thing I’ve read all day.

  7. Lady permalink
    November 10, 2011 9:09 pm

    Hi Bronwen! Quick question out of curiosity: did the nutritionist provide a reason for avoiding soy products? I have been recently diagnosed with PCOS (I’m following up with an endocrinologist in December) and after having some not-so-fun mornings with stomach problems, I tried switching from skim milk to soy milk. My stomach problems have eased up, but I’m still having increased hunger, stomach cramps, faintness, etc. I think I’m having a rough time adjusting to the birth control I was prescribed. I’m still going through this trail-and-error phase of managing symptoms by what I eat, but with so many factors, it’s hard to pin-point the cause of my symptoms. Any tips? Thanks and take care 🙂

  8. November 10, 2011 10:36 pm

    I’m wondering if you could follow up with a HAESRD and NOT return to the nutritionist you saw, especially if you are feeling like you just don’t want to. Why even go back? And, perhaps your PCP could use a little HAES literature slipped into your chart…subtly…ninja style…when he leaves the room, so the next time he reviews your chart the first thing he will see will be some suggestions on bedside manner for patients of ALL sizes!!!
    Then of course he should give you the co pay because he is the one getting help!!!
    Sheesh!!! Re: the soy, I heard something about a soy/estrogen interaction…is it something to do with that?
    Thanks for the post!!!

  9. November 11, 2011 12:09 am

    sorry I’ve been incommunicado y’all. I had the flu, and the puking fucked with my electrolytes which in turn triggered seizures. lol and the seizure fucked up my computer, so in a horrid chain reaction of death i lost the ability to get on the computer. Its now almost a week later and i’m finally back online. And my fucking nuerololgist doesn’t believe me when i told him how dehydrated and how much nausea i get…because im fat…no way could i NOT be drinking or eating right? he just kept repeating how puking doesn’t cause epilepsy… but it certainly can trigger seziures. /headdesk

    • Fab@54 permalink
      November 11, 2011 2:39 pm

      Holy Cow Erylin! Glad you’re on the mend….

  10. November 11, 2011 9:54 am

    I would personally try to find a new doctor.. It *is* possible to find one that’s intelligent, good at their job, doesn’t speak down to you *and* won’t talk to you about your weight. The dietitian…? well I hope you never went to see her again. I had one experience with a dietitian when I actually was trying to lose weight (looong time ago). She couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t already when I explained my diet or past diets (i was vegetarian at the time but also went raw foodist at one point- she eventually decided I must be eating too many bananas/grapes). I basically concluded that dietitians knew less than I do and never bothered with one again.

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